Students Become International Film Critics


Alex Medrano, Staff Reporter

The 19th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival premiered ten films from around the world, which included the Texas A&M University-Commerce. While the movies and subject matter dealt with varying subjects, some more disturbing than others, they all represented an individual artist.

The films ranged from five to twenty minutes long. The first half of the film festival was made up of heavy hitters. It was broken into two sections with an eight minute intermission.

“The Tunnel” depicts a future with “population reduction without discrimination.” It is a 12-minute short based on “The Tunnel Ahead,” a short story by Alice Glasner; closely related to the Doctor Who episode “Gridlocked.” The message emotionally contained manying characteristics like loss of humanity, governmental control, young love, family ties, and future crises.

The English placed the film “Carousel” in the running. It attempted to create life lessons of self awareness initially between the two actors and then with the actor addressing the audience.

The first animated movie was “Kaputt,” a German film, which was a look into the women’s labor camps that were established up until the early 90’s. The predominately black and white sketches showed a harsh, dark animation of ladies who once “painted their lips with matches.”

The only American film in the festival was “Ella Gets A Promotion.” It was the first comedy featured and it was lighthearted in nature. It stayed away from controversial issues and dealt with office humor.

The last of the first segment was Dutch film “ Hold On,” a moving story of an orchestral musician losing control due to stage fright. She self-medicates until she realizes her internal strengths.

There was an eight minute pause between the last and Overtime, which as an Australian comedic horror mimicking work humor like “Office Space” with a strange werewolf twist.

Bravomen, a Russian flick, showed a darker side of romance. It played out the iconic first love and second chance not as magical as the imagination creates.

The French movie, Gorilla, is placed in the era of old Hollywood. It depicts a man, who took being a gorilla seriously, and fell in love with the leading lady. It showed the animal tendencies that lay buried inside through an interesting method of displayed sexual natures.

The Australian, “I Am A Pencil” was the second and last animated movie. It contained a simpler style and a message of self love.

The final movie was “The Last Journey of the Enigmatic Paul W.R.” from France. This science fiction movie shows the wait of an astronaut on an impossible mission. The film festival started and ended with a science fiction movie that focuses on the future and the short film festival was able to parallel both sections.

Although the movies were short, most contained messages that tried to hit at a deeper level of self. The winner of the festival was “Hold On” with best film and Charlie Chan Dagelet from “Hold On” won best actress. “ The Tunnel” won second place and “ I Am A Pencil” won third.